This would be easy, they said. Kayaking with your dog is a walk in the park if you've got the right gear, they said. Now here you are, furry friend in tow, navigating unknown waters and wondering if you are up for the challenge. Hope you did your homework. Even if you and your dog aren't seasoned explorers, these tips for kayaking with your dog will make you a regular Lewis and Bark...get it?
Start with the Basics and Expect to Get Wet
Breeds that love to romp around in the wet can still struggle learning to balance on an 11-foot piece of floating plastic. Master basic commands when your kayak is still on land, and then get your dog cruising as often as possible. Start slow and shallow, and don't expect to stay upright the entire time. Water resistant GPS is a must, and the LINK AKC Smart Collar is water resistant at depths up to three feet.
Plan Your Kayak Attack
The one time you forget to zip your waterproof bag will be the first time your stuff takes an unwanted bath. Call it kayak karma. Always share your float plan with someone before you launch with your pup so they can get help if you don't show up as scheduled. They can even download the LINK AKC Smart Collar app to help you find your furry co-captain if you get separated.
Stay Energized for the Long Haul
You never know when a one-hour trip could turn into a full day of adventure with your pup. You both will get hungry, but you can't exactly lug a 50-pound bag of dog food with you on a kayak. When space is at a premium, downsize with high-energy puppy protein bars and make sure you have options for hydration that don't include drinking swamp water. A good water filter goes a long way on longer trips.
Safety is Essential
In addition to monitoring your dog's temperature and activity level via the LINK AKC Smart Collar, invest in a solid leash and harness so you can easily retrieve a dog that jumps ship. A life jacket and first aid kit are an absolute must for you both, and don't forget pet-friendly sunscreen. Human sunscreen containing zinc oxide are highly toxic to dogs if ingested, so don't mix them up.
Take time to plan and prepare ahead, but most of all, enjoy the sun and solitude with your best furry friend, make memories and share pics of your adventures with the collar's app to prove your skill.